.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

The Liberty Lamp: Libertarian News & Editorials

A blog dedicated to the advancement of libertarian principles, and to the protection of activist groups' privacy and Constitutional rights. Topics include discussions on privacy tips, current events, political topics, and bulletins on how to get involved in various pro-liberty activities.

Friday, April 28, 2006

DownsizeDC Helps Defeat Corrupt "Anti-Lobbying" Bill!

DownsizeDC.org has done it again! As a result of all the thousands of great "DC Downsizers" out there, the US House of Representatives voted down HR.4694, which would have shut out independent "grass-roots" activist groups under the guise of "cleaning up Washington corruption" (an oxymoron, I know). The bill was defeated 216-207, so it was quite close, and about 100 members of Congress weren't even present! The Senate is supposed to take up a similar bill in the next few weeks, so it will be back to the grindstone for pro-liberty/small government activists. However, if we can achieve at least this level of success, the "snowball effect" will begin to kick in, and it should shut the legislature up on this issue, at least for a while (until next term let's say).

Remember, the going isn't always easy, but victories build on each other, and as our efforts move forward, it should become easier and easier. The first few steps are always the hardest, but once the momentum builds, we can expect a brighter future ahead! The Libertarian Action Network thanks each and every reader who has participated with DownsizeDC, and we encourage those who have not already done so to hop on the bandwagon. This is one train that's going to a positive destination!

Monday, April 24, 2006

FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY: Why Liberty?

What is Liberty v. freedom? What is a republic v. a democracy? Check out this cool article from Free Market News:

" 'America, land of the free.' We've all heard it. But just what does freedom mean to you? What can you do as a free man (or woman) that you cannot do without freedom? And what level of freedom do you demand for yourself? Does your conscience play a part in determining the answer to this question, or do you consider it solely on a benefit basis?

"The Cornerstones of American Democracy" is a book available at the national archives as brought to light by Michael Badnarik. He mentions that America was not started as a democracy and still is not a democracy. America is a republic. So why are we all living in a democracy today? Is it better than a republic? More representation, more public influence? More rights? Are these things truly desirable, or can we fall back on natural conscience and the labor theory of property to guide us?

There are two elements at play here. There is freedom within a democracy and there is liberty within a republic. Which is preferable to you? To answer that question one should know the truth about all four terms. Words can be rewritten as easily as history. History is just a collection of words anyway. Have you learned what freedom, democracy, liberty, and republic REALLY mean? Or have you been pulled into Fox news?

Freedom means do anything. Anything you want. Anything at all. Freedom means "do whatever you want, even hurt others." Freedom is the basis behind a democracy. In a democracy, the people are free to do anything they want at all through the power of vote. The people can freely vote to usurp rights and property from the minority of voters. The people can freely vote to usurp homes and land through eminent domain (which is supported by votes). The people can freely vote to dismantle the right to smoke marijuana in the minority of voters. The people can freely vote to mandate the minority of voters to pay for their medical bills (mandatory socialistic medicine is being setup for the future). Do you want to live in a place where everyone else's opinion of you is critical for the security of your rights? Do you want to live in a place where you must spend your life's energy pleasing others so that they do not attack you through their majority of votes? Do you want to live in the collectivist/socialist/communist nightmare predicted by Orwell?"

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Quote from Sam Adams

Obtaining Liberty can be a dirty and unpleasant but important indevour. Below is a famous quote from Samuel Adams (Cousin of John Adams) about this issue...

"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, 'What should be the reward of such sacrifices?' Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth?...

...If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!"


- Samuel Adams

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

An Important Message from DownsizeDC.org

This week is aparently just choc full of important third-party updates! This one's from DownsizeDC.org:

"PROGRESS

Welcome back from the Holiday. We hope you and yours had a good Easter. Things have not been so good in Congress. In recent days . . .

* Congressional leaders have withdrawn the "Online Freedom of Speech Act"
* The Senate has passed a so-called lobbying reform bill that would impose huge burdens on groups like us.
* Incumbents have silenced yet another source of competition by restricting political ads by 527 groups.

Please take note of the trend. Step-by-step, Congress is eliminating every source of opposition to its drive for larger and more centralized government. And the people sleep, ignorant of what is being done.

I want to pause for a moment to let this sink in.

If incumbents have nothing to fear on Election Day, because all potential challengers have been hobbled, then the only remaining impediment to them comes from groups like Downsize DC. Our only hope for stopping the relentless growth of the federal government, the ever rising debt, and the ever increasing centralization of power, is to overwhelm Congress with inescapable, mind-numbing pressure to take the opposite course. But . . . "


Please see the Downsize DC Blog linked to above for the full story.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The United States Military Redefines Torture

This entry is republished from TortureProtest.org.

United States Military Redefines Torture
by triddle on Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:09 pm

The United States military is claiming that no torture has been used at Guantanamo Bay; they maintain this position even after the report detailing torturous interrogation techniques used against one specific detainee. The military must have an awfully creative definition of torture to make such a claim. Lets start off with Wikipedia's definition of torture: "Torture is any act by which severe pain, whether physical or psychological, is intentionally inflicted on a person as a means of intimidation, a deterrent, revenge, a punishment, or as a method for the extraction of information or confessions."

If the military is going to claim that they have not done any of those things they are lying through their teeth. The very same report the military claims exonerates them from claims of torturous behavior in fact condemns them for it. Here is a very short list of findings from the report:

Finding #4: subjects were "left alone in the interrogation booth for an indefinite period of time while loud music played and strobe lights flashed."

Finding #14: inducing a "body temperature between 95 and 97 degrees twice" with the use of climate control. Wikipedia defines hypothermia as starting at 95 degrees.

Finding #16e: a man was "interrogated for 18-20 hours per day for 48 of the 54 days, with the opportunity for a minimum of four hours rest per day."

Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall M. Schmidt testified to the Senate Senate Armed Services Committee about these very acts. He stated that "Detention and interrogation operations across the board ... looking through all the evidence that we could, were safe, secure and humane." One of these "safe, secure, and humane" acts included forcing a subject to wear women's clothes. You may not agree that wearing women's clothes is torture but we have to look at how this man was treated to get him to wear those clothes; I have no idea how he was coerced into wearing the clothes but the report says he was in fact "forced" to wear them. I'm not generous enough to let the military use "safe, secure, and humane" and "force" to describe the exact same incident; I'm sure the threats made against the man were in fact quite inhumane.

References:
No Gitmo torture, Senate panel told
Investigation into FBI Allegations of Detainee Abuse at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Detention Facility

Friday, April 14, 2006

McCain to Hopi Navajo: All Your Lands Are Belongs to Us!

As a partial Hopi, this news really pisses me off. And you thought the 1820s Trail of Tears was a bitch...

"Navajo and Hopi families residing on Big Mountain and the surrounding area of the Black Mesa in northern Arizona may be forced to relocate as a new senate bill, S1003 "The Navajo Hopi Land Settlement Act Amendments of 2005," goes before Congress. If passed, the bill will permanently displace the Navajo and Hopi, and, according to a press release by the Black Mesa Indigenous Support organization, "relieve the federal government of any further responsibility for the relocated people." Sponsored by Senator John McCain, S1003 was initiated at nearly the same time as Peabody Coal, the world's largest coal company, expressed an interest in the Navajo land. Peabody Coal plans to expand its strip mining into this area, where billions of tons of low-sulfur coal are located."

If someone in the Free State Project is in the area, you might find some good recruiting opertunities in Northeast Arizona. Where's the AIM when you need it?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"V for Vendetta"

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...


In entertainment and outreach news, if you haven't yet seen V for Vendetta yet, you should. Since many people reading this blog already know at least the gist of what this movie is about, I won't waste time discussing the plot outline here; for a brief overview and analysis of political connotations, check out this LewRockwell.com story.

In other news, don't forget to join the Free State Project, and buy your e-gold from SecurityGold.com. A full analysis of SecurityGold's services will commence next week after I evaluate the processing of my first completed transaction. I've used the associated company's LLC related services before, but not the gold. Stay tuned for updates!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

"The Invisible Hand", from Rutgers Libertarians

The College Libertarians at Rutgers University (NJ) have just released their first montly edition of their new publication, The Invisible Hand. It appears to be on the path towards challenging the often more statist stance of larger campus publications like The Internationalist and others. Check it out and provide feedback- maybe even submit your own articles for the next edition!

In other news, check out our aquired copy of America's Great Depression, Fifth Edition, which is about 400 pages (PDF Format). It discusses the econoimic and political causes behind the Depression and focuses mostly on the Austrian School explaination. Please see the Ludwig Von Mises Institute site for more information.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Protecting Your Assets With an LLC

New Mexico LLCs ("Limited Liabilities Company") are a great way to protect yourself and your money from prying eyes and greedy lawyers. As I've mentioned in the past, a correctly organized and utilized LLC can add a legal layer of separation between your person and your personal assets.

For example, if "Patty Plaintiff" decides she wants some cheap sleazy cash, she might go looking for someone with deep pockets to sue over something meaningless. However, if many of your holdings are owned by one or more Limited Liabilities Companies (LLCs) "on paper", she will only be able to find out about your own personal wealth and not the holdings of the LLCs, assuming that she doesn't know anything about them and doesn't have deep pockets herself. When people like Patty find that you don't "personally" own very much, he or she will more than likely move on to someone else who seems to be an easier target.

To get a private and anonymous New Mexico LLC set up for yourself, I recommend Global Direct, LLC. I have done business with them before, and they were quite knowlegeable, prompt, and courteous in my opinion. One should also take note of their other related privacy services, such as their anonymous e-Gold funding service.

For a few other reliable privacy services, check out the folks at HowToBeInvisible.com and Ultimate-Anonymity.com. I deal with both on a semi regular basis, and both are very reputable as well. The majority of their services are mutually exclusive, and thus all three of these sites are worth looking at.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Man's Cock Too Big for Wife's Box!

This humourous post today is unusually unrelated to politics and the liberty movement, but what the hell. It seemed funny and I'm sure some people can relate to it on a personal level. :)

"You know how it is: you've got a 30-inch cock but your wife's box is only six inches. The only intelligent solution is to offer the box for sale on eBay, as this Wisconsin vendor attempted to do:

That bargain box in full

Naturally, eBay pulled the auction this morning, according to our correspondent Martin B. We suspect the following may have had something to do with it:

Q&A about that voluminous box

Top-quality silliness. We do hope the vendor succeeds in offloading his wife's box to someone with a more modest cock, and that, in time, he finds the woman of his dreams with a suitably voluminous box."


...For all your storage solutions!